Sleeman Fine Porter (68*) | Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

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Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)
108 Ratings
Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)

Brewed by:
Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The first in the John Sleeman Presents series, Sleeman Fine Porter is straight from page 68 of the family recipe book. The original Porters were the drink of the working class in 1700s England where they were seen to be more nutritious. Take a sip of history today and experience this brew just as George Sleeman presented it back in the 1800s.

Added by DrJay on 10-30-2004

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Ratings: 108 |  Reviews: 82
Photo of Suds
3.51/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep rust brown color with an attractive and rocky light-tan head. The aroma is of roasted malt and grain. There’s a little huskiness that seems a little off-center. Also, some chocolate and caramel aromas. Rustic and a little dry in front. The brew has a decent bitterness, and a nice hop presence that comes forth in the mid-taste. Nice use of bittering hops. Somewhat astringent in the finish (maybe from that husk-like quality in the nose?). Medium to the lighter side of body. Very easy to drink. Better than I expected, to be honest.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted scent that boasts of black and chocolate malts. It's dry and earthy with a slightly sweet edge. The taste is decent. It has a smooth, yet earthy flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit sweet and toastey. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking porter. It's quite earthy with nice sweet maltiness.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Poured a light, slightly creamy head with little retention and eventually a film that lasted only five minutes. Color was a transparent brown with a few garnet highlights. Some minut lacing.

Smell- A somewhat roasted malt aroma penetrates the nostrils with some dry hops mixed in.

Taste- A little too much dryness for a porter, but some alright roasted malts and vanilla help make for it. With a dry, unobtrusive bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel- A little tart but some nice creamy notes are noticed in the middle of the palate. Pretty easy going down and very easy to drink.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.03/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another in the Sleeman line from the mixed twelve pack that appeared magically at my distributor last week.
The appearance is bland but dark and cloudy and totally lacking in head. The nose has muted chocolate and roasted malt and is nice enough, just not very strong.
Taste starts well but has something artificial in the aftertaste. Texture is far too thin and watery. If it could back up the half decent taste this beer might be something. Instead, it's just another macro porter wannabe.

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Photo of Brent
2.6/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not bad, but possibly one of the most boring porters I've had. Poured dark brown, but a bit lighter than average. General roasted malt aroma and similary nondescript roasted malt flavor. Doesn't really go anywhere, just bland - like a bit darker version of the equally unimpressive dark ale.

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Photo of woemad
2.12/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $1.66. First time I'd seen it. I'm always up for a new porter, but things I'd heard in the past about Sleeman were less than complimentary, so I opened this one with few illusions. No freshness date to be found. I found it odd that there's no mention of the location of the brewery beyond Canada. Last time I checked, Canada was a big place.

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer's appearance. This poured a dark brown/black color that took on a reddish hue when held to the light. A big tan head sat atop the proceedings. A spotty lace was left behind. Sadly, this would be the highlight of this beer.

This is one of the more anemic-smelling porters I have encountered. There's a vague bitter dark chocolate scent and a more sweet caramel scent... and that's about it. No hoppiness to note. As this warms up, the sweet aspects become more cloying. This begins to smell like an overly sweet brown ale with some coffee thrown in.

The nose is remarkably similar to the smell, except that it's more watery - not the quality I look for in a porter, to be sure. The vaguely bitter roasted malt taste is first, then quickly is beaten down by a watery sweetness, before the proceedings finish with a dry steel note. Ugh.

Mouthfeel? What part of watery didn't you get from what I said above?

This is vaguely drinkable in comparison with some of the worst macro swill imaginable, but it really doesn't shine when compared to anything else. This porter richly deserves the rating it's come to have on this site. I shan't be buying any of these again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.57/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Blood-soaked tobacco with bright orange trim. The head is three fingers after a spirited pour and looks better than decent. It's malted milk in color, with a soft frothiness that still permits a mild rockiness. It falls in sections and is beginning to leave fine tatters of lace that don't quite cover half the glass. Note: much more lace is seen in the end.

Sleeman Porter looks like a porter, but it sure doesn't smell like one. In fact, it doesn't smell like much of anything at all... except maybe an exceptionally weak, mineral-infused, hopless Euro pale lager. I know that doesn't sound appealing. Believe me, it isn't.

The flavor has more guts than the nose. However, in the grand scheme of things, it's still virtually gutless. This is hideously undermalted beer. Minimally roasted barley is the only thing greeting my taste buds. The flavor profile can best be described as watered-down chocolate and weak tobacco tea. A near complete lack of sugar allows what hops are present to deliver their full complement of bitterness.

The mineralness noted in the nose is present on the palate, but isn't bothersome. As I drink, I'm amazed by the amount of bitterness and find myself wishing for more malt to alleviate the dryness of the finish. A little more flavor is available with warming. In the end, this is tolerable beer more than it's good beer.

The mouthfeel is light. I'd even go so far as to call it thin. It's off the bottom end of my 'porter mouthfeel' scale, but it does fit with the rest of the beer's attributes.

After tasting Sleeman's abysmal Honey Brown Lager, I had no illusions that Porter 68 would be great beer. The 68 is supposedly a reference to this beer's page number in an old beer recipe book found in a family member's attic. Anyway, I can't bring myself to recommend it for any purpose (cooking maybe?), even though it isn't horrible and gained some measure of my respect by the final ounce.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.03/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours rather thin and watery. Head dissipates quickly to a very thin ring.

Smell is bitter with burnt dark malt and not much else.

Taste is similiar to smell but much stronger. There is a strange smokiness to the beer. Unfortunately it is not well balanced. The flavor seems disjointed.

Mouthfeel is very thin for a porter. It seems to be watered down.

I will not have this brew again. I am surprised that this brew is so poorly crafted.

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Photo of bashiba
2/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into my glass looks exactly like a glass of cola.

Smell is bitter and slightly pungent.

Taste is very bland, and the taste that is present isn't very pleasing. I don't know how to describe it other than not good.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, especially for a porter.

Overall not the most drinkable beer, I will be avoiding this in future.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This Porter is nice and dark although far from black. The head came up well enough.

Smell – Wow, there are some dark malts in this puppy. They are really hard core, almost like an RIP like Old Ras or something along those lines. The coffee is generous, and the light bready aspect of this bouquet almost got me thinking about Belgians.

Taste – The flavors here are big and intense. There’s more fruit than I picked up at the nose, I’d say something cherry-esque. The malts are roasted dark but there’s a nice toasty middle to the flavor profile. Just when you think it might be a bit much, it pulls back and let’s you off the hook.

Mouthfeel – This is almost medium-bodied, in fact I’d call it that, and lightly carbonated with some stiff bitterness up front of all places.

Drinkability – This was a very different AP but well worth a look. I don’t remember who sent this to me as it has been in my fridge for a while, but I owe someone a big thanks.

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Photo of masikon
2.11/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This poured a near black with some ruby highlights, chunky head but receded quickly leaving crusty lacing. Nose is of indistinqushable burnt malt, perhaps some bitter chocolate scent if I really think about it being there. Taste is awkward and pretty vile, again very mild flavorwise with typical roasted bitterness. Mouthfeel is completely off, very light and watery..doesn't match the taste at all. Overall not a good porter, no redeeming qualities with so many better examples available.

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Photo of Sammy
3.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

September 2003 batch. A bit of aging may have helped it. Still strong carbonation. Lagerish body with porter flavour, welcome but of bitterness. Not thin but on weak flavour for style. Quaffable. Blackish with some head, mollasses aroma. Not a bad one.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
2.89/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Big brown bottle, no label on body, only neck tag and ... ah, 'engrained' lettering on the body. Good look. Pours a dark black brown color, copper brown around the edges, with fluffy head lasting about 2 minutes shrinking to a thin film, and tons of lacing all down the glass, almost too much. Faint malty aroma with a queer burnt something in the background, couldn't quite pick it out. I found the body too thin, and the taste followed along those lines... roasted malts, some chocolate, and some smoke that I didn't particularly. Hop presense is minimal, as is carbonation. Mildly drinkable beer, I'd have it but probably wouldn't pay for it again.

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Photo of maxpower
2.26/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

11.5 oz thick brown bottle pours a clear dark brown color with a small head of large bubbles that leaves some lacing in my glass. Chocolate aromas, caramel, chocolate and smoke flavors, light to medium bodied with a watery and thin mouthfeel, not much going on with this porter.

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Photo of Naes
2.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This porter is almost black in color with reddish hues around the edges. The head is a small frothy layer of light tan foam. Lacing is good.
The aroma is faint, but is of malts.
The flavor is a bit watered down for a porter. It’s slightly roasty, with a bit of bitter chocolate and a mild hop presence.
Mouth feel is light and mildly carbonated.
This is not the best of porters.

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Photo of ADR
2.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The cap still says "John Sleeman presents", the package and neck label say "Porter 68"...

Thin pour, but dark in color, lets brown highlights shine through. Head rises fairly high, almost an inch, is tan, and laces pretty well. Aroma is mildly malty, but with some stale tones and almost a rancid popcorn back half of the nose. Light body, lower carbonation. The taste is not too bad, aspects of cocoa with a bit of roasty tang that's pretty striaghtforward. Minimal hop expression. Mouthfeel and solidity of flavors are just too fleeting, the close is pretty watery with some tobacco residue in the finishing qualities.

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Photo of Tim2000
2.51/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown brew with a short-lived head that leaves a decent collar.

Subtle roasted coffee aroma.

The flavour is quite underwhelming. Slightly malty and nutty, followed by a astringent grainy taste leading to an indistinct hop bitterness. Quite dry all the way through, this porter is definitely lacking something. The body is very thin and carbonation is high.

Not much to say, a watered-down interpretation of the style.

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Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best product sleeman has offered. By far.

It has a light mouthfeel, with a well rounded malt flavour. It has a toffee-like flavour, with a hint of chocolate, rather than the black patent flavour of some post-industrial revolution porters.

A fine beer indeed.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
3.18/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber that I found hard to see through. The tan head doesn't seem to want to exist at all. You could probably pour this beer into a mug while standing on a rooftop and still get no action. Not even the barest lace to speak of a moment after I poured it.

Smells nutty, some raspberry, some coffee. Ultimately, though, this smells like a Sleeman brew to me. This does not say much, in my books.

Mouthfeel is crisp and a bit above light. Not bad. A bit more carbonated than I'm used to for a Porter.

Tastes of chocolate, roasted malt, a bit of blackstrap molasses, with an understated bitter finish. I also find that a hidden nuttiness emerges as it warms. Definitely more nuanced than Sleeman usually is, but I still find it too watery and sweet. However, as it comes from Sleeman, I was impressed. This is not their average brew. It's much better.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In the bottle this beer appeared more of a nut brown in color than a dark porter brown, but once in the glass the beer seemed darker with a whitish head. The aroma was nice, chocolate and toasted malt initially and woody and nutty as it warmed. The flavor was malty and tosted without any bitter or astringency. A nice mouthfeel but slightly on the thin side. This beer impressed me with its balance and quality I would order this again.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A brewery rep for sleemans stopped in to work today and had a bottle he shared with us. this beer is only available in canada right now. but he said this fall it will be sent on tot he american market. he also said it was a pre prohabition style porter. i did not realize that canada had a prohabition?? ;-)

it poured a very dark amber with a nice brown head.
the aroma was mostly malt, but hints of chocolate and hops were present. the flavor was malty with chocolate, with hop bitterness and flavor with carmel.

a very good beer, but it was average, i like something a bit more robust. this beer if it was pale would do well on the american market. but i think beer geeks and snobs will be turned off by the lack of flavor and mouthfeel. i usually compaire most porter to fullers london pride, and this is adverage to that beer.

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Photo of baiser
3.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, almost opaque brown, with a tan head and deep ruby highlights. Aroma of roasted malts, coffee/chocolate, some toffee flavour, not bad. Taste was decent. This isn't bad for a Sleeman product. It's a beer that has exceeded my rather low expectations, but overall, it's pretty drinkable. Although way too sweet, it does have characteristics of a decent porter. Roasted flavours, chewy malt, slight bitterness to balance. Mouthfeel a bit thin, but drinkability is good.

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Photo of slitherySOB
1.93/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I'm reviewing this beer cold. I mean cold as a Bud served at a biker bar cold. As this beer warms, it gets worse. This porter pours a muddy black colour, with a bit of coffee coloured foam that quickly disipates. Their is one ring of lace at the top of the glass, where the top of the foam reached its peak. That is all. First smell is skunk. Not surprised. The glass is clear, and this bottle came from Canada to Africa. But I had the rest, and they were all the same. And, considering some of the disappointments I've had with Sleeman before, I'm considering it safe to assume that this would smell and taste the same if I bought it at the LCBO and drank it straight away. After awhile, I smell a bit of caramel barley and chocolate. Taste is skunky. But, it also has a caramel and chocolate flavour that reminds me a bit of a chocolate bar. Too sweet, but the skunkiness balances it out. Surprising, eh? Skunk actually balancing something. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and almost oily like a fish. It's pretty undrinkable, I find. Something I won't partake of again.

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Photo of BigBry
3.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark opaque brown poured from the traditional clear Sleeman's bottle. Full head, some tiny bubbles from continued carbonation, left a hint of lace. Dark, roasted malt aroma, plus smell of brown sugar and some nuttiness. Taste is of dark roasted malt, some coffee and cocoa, and slight hop finish. Medium bodied, yet thin and almost watery, but still a nice effort from Sleeman's. Good flavors and very drinkable. Not sure how it would stack up against other brews in this style.

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Photo of foamer
3.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341 ml clear bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brown with a subtle ruby hue. Bubbly tan head which retains moderately well. Nose is a combination of sweet and roasted malts. Taste is sweet malts and toffee - not overly complex and leads to a fairly short toffee finish. Nice carbonation, not overwhelming but rather thin on the mouthfeel. Seems a little light for a porter overall.

This is the first in a series of limited edition beers from John Sleeman’s original 19th century recipe book. It is by no means a spectacular beer, but certainly my favourite offering from an otherwise mediocre brewery.

Special thanks to my folks for bringing this one from back home.

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Sleeman Fine Porter (68*) from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.07 out of 5 with 108 ratings